Cooled RFA for Shoulder and Knee Compared With Steroid Injections

Cooled RFA for Shoulder and Knee Compared With Steroid Injections

Chronic shoulder or knee pain due to conditions like osteoarthritis reduces your mobility and limits your quality of life. Innovative interventional pain management treatments seek to address and resolve your joint pain. 

With new treatments and therapies like radiofrequency ablation, we’re improving our ability to relieve your pain every year.

At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, Dr. Nichelle C. Renk is one of only two providers in the state to offer cutting-edge, minimally invasive cooled radiofrequency ablation (CRFA), as well as conventional radiofrequency (RF) treatments.

Studies show that this approach to knee and joint pain works well, better than other treatment methods. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of CRFA for knee or shoulder joint pain.

Chill out your chronic pain

RF ablation targets the nerves that send pain signals to your brain. The treatment effectively reduces your joint pain by blocking pain signals at the source, releasing you from the pain cycle.

Improving on traditional RF ablation approaches, the COOLIEF® system that Dr. Renk uses at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness combines RF energy heat with water that continuously circulates through the treatment device. 

Dr. Renk can treat larger areas with the COOLIEF device, increasing your chances of effective pain relief with CRFA therapy.

Real and lasting relief

If you’ve lived with a condition like knee or shoulder osteoarthritis for a while, you may have tried various therapies to relieve your symptoms and preserve your joint function. If you’re not ready for knee replacement surgery, you’re going to be looking for other effective treatment options.

CRFA effectively reduces chronic pain in knee and shoulder joints, with long-lasting results. You could benefit from increased mobility and pain relief for a year or longer after CRFA treatment.

CRFA can also be helpful if you want to hold off on total shoulder or knee replacement and can also be done immediately prior to joint replacement to improve post-surgical pain experience, improve physical therapy outcomes, and decrease the need for post-op opioids. 

Dr. Renk provides your CRFA treatment on an outpatient basis. You should wait to drive or engage in vigorous activity for about a day after your treatment. You won’t need more than minimal sedation for this therapy. Local anesthesia keeps you comfortable.

During the procedure, you lie on your stomach or back on an X-ray table. Dr. Renk uses live video X-ray technology to target the painful nerves in your treatment area. A small, insulated needle keeps RF energy from affecting nerves outside the target area when the COOLIEF conductor delivers your treatment.

Better than steroid injections?

Intra-articular steroid injections provide short-term pain relief for aching joints. However, steroids show some potential for adverse effects on cartilage when used in the long term. Steroid injections might actually make your joint problem worse over time, and won’t work to relieve your pain for long.

In evaluations of CRFA as an alternative to steroid injections for knee osteoarthritis, CRFA shows significant benefits. CRFA provides clinically meaningful functional improvement and pain reduction in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

The results are clear: You get better and longer-lasting pain relief from CRFA than from steroid injections. Six months after beginning treatment, nearly 75% of patients treated with CRFA for knee pain in one comparative study reported at least a 50% reduction in pain levels. Only 16% of patients receiving steroid injections reported similar levels of pain relief.

Most CRFA patients report improved health after treatment, including reduced pain and increased joint function. CRFA patients also use lower amounts of pain medications. CRFA offers a drug-free path to pain relief for men and women who are suffering from knee and shoulder joint pain.

To learn more about how CRFA could relieve your joint pain and restore your full quality of life, get in touch with Dr. Renk at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness today. You can schedule your initial consultation appointment over the phone, or book with the online tool now.

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